December 14, 2021
Meet the Women of the Vacation Rental Industry: Michelle Marquis
We’re still feeling all the positive vibes from the Vacation Rental Women’s Summit, and we’ll continue to catch up with the women in our industry to learn more about their journey and passion for the vacation rental space, let’s learn more about Michelle!
As a former hospitality operator, Michelle has first-hand insight into the challenges facing hotels, resorts, and property managers. This gives her the background to understand how TravelNet Solutions technology can help give operators a more scalable, profitable, and efficient business.
About TravelNet Solutions:
TravelNet’s ascension from a single product company, many years ago, to a market-leading technology company that offers a complete solution from creating consumer demand to managing all of a property’s operations, gives their clients a competitive edge.
Let’s Learn More about Michelle!
How did you begin your career in the vacation rental industry?
I started in this industry as a property manager. I had been in hotels and was hired by a company that did not own any of their own inventory. So I ran it like a hotel, not knowing there were differences. And for the most part it worked! I went to my first VRMA in the 90s. I was surprised to learn there was an entire industry dedicated to homeowners and renting vacation rentals. I think I had a bit of a leg up because I didn’t know some of the things I was doing were no-no’s in the VR industry. I just did what I knew. That company is still in business and is now owned by Meredith Lodging.
What was your experience as a female-identifying person (FIP) then vs now?
I am afraid not much has changed as a female leader then vs now. I have always been underestimated and had to “earn” my place. I have quite a few stories, then and now of men saying very degrading and discouraging things to me because I was a FIP.
Who mentored you and your career? Were there FIP’s in leadership roles around you?
I have been thinking a lot about this topic. To be vulnerable, I am not sure I really had a mentor. I feel like the fabric of my entire being and experience has me wanting to prove I am capable, worthy and smart enough to figure out just about anything. Many have doubted me, that is for sure. One CEO even told me – He approved a project I was working on just so I could see that I could not get that project launched. Guess what, I did! I never thought I could not do something because I was a woman, which is probably why I am where I am today.
What is your advice for FIP’s looking to grow their career in the VRM industry?
At the Women’s Conference, there was a lot of talk about finding your tribe. I have been in this industry for a very long time and I am not sure I have found my tribe. I have, however, found and have made a point to reach out to those who do not have their tribe and introduce them to as many people as possible. So, I would say: be open, be kind, meet as many people as you can, and always bring value to those relationships.
My mom used to say to me, “What would you do if you knew you would not fail?” I could not resonate with that. Then one day I said to myself, “What would you do if you knew there were no, yea, but’s?” When I am troubled, I think about that and it has served me well. It has allowed me to change jobs and even clear out relationships that were toxic to me.
Rented was so proud to sponsor the Vacation Rental Women’s Summit this December 2-3 in New Orleans. Check out the speaker line up and you can still buy the full video package here, to experience an amazing conference different (and better) from any other!